Agra: Ahead of Vijayadashami or Dussehra, a Muslim man is busy preparing the effigies to be used on the occasion that is majorly celebrated across India to mark the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.
Jafar Ali, who hails from nearby Mathura said that his family has been doing this work for the past three generations and is an example of communal harmony and brotherhood in the country.
"Our family has been for generations making the Ravana effigy. We do it to show Hindu-Muslim unity. Yes, we are Muslim but we do it," said, Ali.
This year, he is preparing a 100-foot high effigy of Ravana which will be burnt near the city`s Ramlila ground.Dussehra is celebrated by conducting pujas and plays of the events of the Ramayana (Ramlila) over the nine-day Navaratri and burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad along with fireworks on the tenth day to commemorate the destruction of evil.
Aamir, a worker who works with Jafar Ali said that effigy making is his religion and he finds no distinction in Hindus and Muslims, only political leaders divide people in the name of religion. "This work is our religion. My father also used to make Ravana effigy. For the past 40 years, I have been doing this work. Political leaders divide people in the name of religion. For us, Hindus and Muslims are same," he said.